Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 3, December 2004

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 3, December 2004

Article excerpt

Approaching Perpetual Peace: Kant's Defense of a League of States and his Ideal of a World Federation, PAULINE KLEINGELD

It is generally assumed that Kant advocates a voluntary league of states and rejects the ideal of a world federation of states as dangerous, unrealistic, and conceptually incoherent. Kant's view, on this interpretation, is usually thought to fall victim to three standard objections, namely, that a league of states is not efficacious, that Kant is inconsistent in giving up a theoretical ideal for something more "realistic," and that he is wrong to regard a federative state of states as a self-contradiction. The author argues that the standard interpretation is mistaken and that the objections fail. Kant does advocate the establishment of a noncoercive league of states, in his mature political writings, but he does so out of concern for democratic self-rule (autonomy) and without rejecting the ideal that a world federation of states eventually be realized. …

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